the frailty of our human clay

Sunday, 14 November 2010

This morning's two minutes' silence happened at the beginning of Freddie's Sunday League Under 11s football match. It's been hotting up recently; they are unbeaten so far this season, and are through to the semis of the Shire Cup. So there was quite a large crowd of parents and grandparents huddling under huge brollies along the touchline. The promised rain lashed down on us and the car boot sale with which we shared the field.

The goalie for the opposition, who were also unbeaten, was wearing a black armband. His Grandad was just down the muddy touchline from me. "His dad didn't come back from Afghanistan last year," he said quietly. The two teams lined up to observe the silence. The car boot sale was like a frieze - ordinary people in waterproofs and soggy fleeces stood with bowed heads in the rain. Two rows of small boys, napes bared poignantly to the elements, looked solemnly at their boots. The referee and the opposition manager stood protectively behind their goalie, a hands each resting lightly on his skinny damp shoulders.

There were no medals. No hymns, no bands, no wreaths. Just ordinary people respectfully remembering. The most genuinely moving two minutes' silence I have observed in years.

And we're through to the next round,


  1. Lovely. The rain. No dad. Made me cry a bit.

  2. Yes, Els, like Skye, i was teary.

    The way you told the story, sober, respectful, moving. A time out for all of us really.

  3. when i lived in wales, the whole school went out onto the lawn to observe the silence. i love the unity of everyone wearing poppies. nothing like that here in the usa.

  4. Bless those who have given all and those they've left behind. What a moving moment, truly touching.

  5. Such a british thing, this silence in total respect with no frills. Beautiful.

  6. "napes bared poignantly to the elements" - perfect.


Please leave a comment if you can be remotely bothered - anything you have to say is valuable and I absolutely love hearing from you all. Elizabeth